Tag Archives: shami chakrabati

Is Labour really the natural home for those concerned about human rights?


I read the report by Shami Chakrabarti into alleged racism in the Labour Party over the weekend.  It’s a good report and an interesting read for a number of reasons – but I was looking for lessons for our Party.

What particularly struck me was that right upfront she explains why she joined the Labour Party as soon as she was appointed to lead the Inquiry. She states that she has always supported and voted for the Labour Party but that her various jobs (Civil Servant and then Director of Liberty) required her to be non-Party political.  She goes on to say that Labour is however the natural home for anybody concerned about human rights, that all significant legislative improvements in human rights in this country have happened on Labour’s watch, and that Labour has consistently been the first Party to accommodate immigrant voices and to achieve significant support among successive waves of immigrants -whether they be Jewish, Irish, BAME.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 33 Comments

European Arrest Warrant: I’m a sceptic (but not a Eurosceptic)

As I write, the House of Commons is debating the European Arrest Warrant (EAW).

Well, sort of. In fact, the Speaker, John Bercow, has already pointed out that “there will not today be a vote on the specific matter of membership of the European arrest warrant”. But Home Secretary Theresa May and Justice Secretary Chris Grayling say there will. In the Tories’ Alice in Wonderland world, when they use the word vote it means just what they choose it to mean, neither more nor less.

As with any debate involving Europe, there is a danger of it being used as …

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Conference: the good, the bad and the ugly

Now that I’ve had some sleep and recovered from the fun of Federal Conference in Brighton, I thought I’d share with you some of the highs and lows of a thoroughly enjoyable five days.

The Good

When Shami beat Paddy:  You don’t often see Paddy Ashdown being completely bested in an argument, but Liberty director Shami Chakrabati managed it with aplomb. Paddy said in his speech to a packed Liberty fringe meeting  that secret courts were fine as long as everything was overseen by a Judge. Shami went for him. She said she knew she was abusing the chair, but it was her meeting and …

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 28 Comments

Welcome for plans to scale down police stop and search

Commenting on the Home Secretary’s announcement that stop and search powers will be subject to stricter conditions, Tom Brake MP (Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Committee for Home Affairs, Justice and Equality) said:

This is a very welcome announcement. Section 44 was an unreasonable power, applied in an indiscriminate way.

This change strengthens our civil liberties, building on a longstanding commitment from Liberal Democrats.

When the Labour benches attacked the coalition for what they described as an obsession with defending civil liberties, it just highlighted their dangerous obsession with eroding them.

Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty has also welcomed the Home Secretary’s decision:


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Opinion: Healthy scepticism alive and well among Liberty’s ranks

At the weekend Liberty held its AGM. Jo Shaw was there…

We are, as our esteemed director, Shami Chakrabarti said on Saturday “a gobby lot”. In that, the Liberty membership share much in common with the membership of the Lib Dems. Both share a tradition of being unwilling to shut up, of asking difficult questions and not necessarily toeing the line which might be expected or helpful for the leadership.

Liberty was formed 76 years ago in response to police brutality against protestors against hunger and unemployment. Police tactics at demonstrations and the politics of dissent are currently high in …

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Social media’s impact on politics, part one: the groups that face extinction

Welcome to a two-part series about the real impact social media (or social networking) is having on politics in Britain. In part one I look at the groups which face extinction, whilst in part two I will look at why pundits searching for the impact of social media on politics in 2010 are looking in the wrong place.

What impact has the introduction of cheap colouring printing technology had on British politics? Almost none. Certainly many more leaflets are colour than used to be the case, more target letters contain colour inserts and a generation of amateur designers have had the …

Posted in Online politics and Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 8 Comments

BBC Question Time – LDV open thread, 9 July 2009 #bbcqt

Question Time this week is the Schools Special – and that brings with it two innovations. Firstly there’s the option to watch it live at 8pm on BBC3 – hence the much earlier appearance of this post than usual; and secondly one of the panellists will be a young person to be announced on the night.

There will also be the following not-quite-so-young people joining in the debate: Andy Burnham MP, Jeremy Hunt MP, Sarah Teather MP, and Shami Chakrabarti.

As last week, we hope to have a magic Facebook window appearing here:

Posted in Lib Dem TV | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRoland 19th Mar - 11:25pm
    I see this agreement more in terms of "simply inevitable". It is only a win for the EU in the sense that the UK has...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 19th Mar - 10:54pm
    Reuters Tonight : "Brexit transition deal which failed to deliver full control over fishing rights, with Conservatives suggesting they could not support a final agreement...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 19th Mar - 9:43pm
    @ Arnold Kiel "A complete win for the EU". No need to seem so pleased about it, Mr. Kiel.
  • User AvatarGraham Evans 19th Mar - 9:20pm
    Conservative Home is currently a joy to read. Even JRM has been accused of being a traitor to the Brexit cause😀.
  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 19th Mar - 9:10pm
    A complete win for the EU (and, unwillingly, the UK). Most importantly: Fox can start failing right away for everybody to see, hopefully in time....
  • User AvatarSimon Banks 19th Mar - 8:52pm
    Was "Tory" one of the profanities?